Hide.me

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6.3
Hide.me VPN Review

Hide.me Review

Hide.me is a Malaysia-based VPN service which has been offering free and paid subscription plans since 2011. With over 1,400 servers spread across 35 countries in its network, Hide.me has a fairly sized coverage in Europe, North America, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Japan, India, Morocco, and Hong Kong.

On the Hide.me website, the VPN service prides itself as the “world’s fastest VPN”. This should make them your go-to option for all your streaming, torrenting and surfing needs, right? This bold claim is one of the first things a visitor sees on the VPN’s homepage. But is Hide.me really the world’s fastest VPN? Or is this just a marketing pitch designed to convince their audience to subscribe to what they offer?

We were just as eager as you are to know what it is about Hide.me, so we subscribed to one of its plans to extensively test the VPN service. During our tests, we asked questions like:

  • How does Hide.me fare up to some of the best VPN services in the industry in terms of speed?
  • Is Hide.me a secure VPN?
  • Does Hide.me allow torrenting?
  • Does it work well in China?
  • Is it compatible with Android?

Before we provide answers to these questions, let us consider some Hide.me pros and cons:

Pros
  • Fast VPN speeds
  • Allows P2P and torrenting on many servers
  • Apps are easy to use for Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Android
Cons
  • Live chat agents are unable to provide solutions to technical problems
  • Unreliable in China
  • Premium plan is expensive
  • Fast VPN speeds
  • Allows P2P and torrenting on many servers
  • Apps are easy to use for Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Android
  • Live chat agents are unable to provide solutions to technical problems
  • Unreliable in China
  • Premium plan is expensive

Work With

Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

Best Price

£4.61/month - 2 yrs plan

Speed and Reliability Test

Fast and Reliable VPN

Hide.me is one of the best VPN services out there in terms of speeds over short distances. Even when connecting out to more distant locations, the VPN still boasts very fast and reliable speeds. 

Before connecting to Hide.me:

Download Mbps
91
Upload Mbps
61

When connected to Hide.me:

Download Mbps
81
Upload Mbps
61

Our speed test results from our physical London location using a London test server.

Before connecting to Hide.me:

  • 91Mbps (download)
  • 61Mbps (upload)

When connected to Hide.me:

  • 81Mbps (download)
  • 61Mbps (upload)
Gamers and torrenters will be especially enthused by Hide.me’s extremely low latency, even if connections abroad may suffer a little more lag. So long as your internet connection is stable, you would hardly experience any connection drops when using Hide.me.It is not the fastest VPN overall, but one that wouldn’t let you down. We put Hide.me through an extensive speed testing process, in order to determine its average speeds from different locations worldwide. Here are the average speeds you can expect when in these locations:

According to our tests from our location in the UK, here are the average speeds you can expect when in these locations:

DOWNLOAD AVERAGE UPLOAD AVERAGE
US 33 Mbps 17 Mbps
Australia 35 Mbps 12 Mbps
Germany 71 Mbps 79 Mbps

According to our tests from our location in the UK, here are the average speeds you can expect when in these locations:

  • US: 33Mbps (download) & 17Mbps (upload)
  • Australia: 35Mbps (download) & 12Mbps (upload)
  • Germany: 71Mbps (download) & 79Mbps (upload)

Limited Network of Servers

1,400 Servers Covering Mostly Popular Locations

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4
Countries
5
Cities
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IP Addresses

When it comes to VPN server locations, Hide.me’s offering is pretty limited. Though it has 1,400 servers in its network, they are only located in 35 countries throughout the globe, which is below what we would expect of a top tier VPN service. If you need a VPN that offers more options, you will have to consider other services.

For instance, Hide.me offers coverage in only one location in the whole of South America – Sao Paulo in Brazil. This is the same for Africa, with Morocco’s Marrakesh the only option.

Server coverage in Europe is as good as we expect, with city-level locations available in countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, but you would run out of luck if you were out of these locations. Hide.me would do with more city-level options.

Hide.me’s 1500 IP addresses could still prove helpful at busy times to manage congestion. It is possible that the limited number of servers in its network is because Hide.me owns and operates its own server network. this is good news for privacy-conscious internet users.

Bypassing Strict Internet Censorship

Not Reliable in China

Hide.me used to be a great choice for users in China, but it has increasingly become unreliable since the government’s crackdown on VPN services. Hide.me’s website, Google Play Store listings and iOS App Store have been blocked by the Chinese government, so users can only download the software from outside China, or use another VPN service that works well in the country.

Hide.me should still work in countries with less intense internet censorship than China, such as Turkey. With its self-managed DNS, Hide.me is able to encrypt your data and prevent interlopers from gaining access to your DNS requests. However, Hide.me’s limited server coverage could still pose a problem even if the VPN successfully bypasses internet censorship. This is because it is very possible that the nearest free-speech country could be far away, which would mean poor internet connections, especially for users in the Middle East.

Streaming and Torrenting

Great Option for Torrenting

Hide.me is no longer a reliable option for streaming Netflix and BBC iPlayer. They have no optimized servers for streaming and the two UK servers cannot unblock BBC iPlayer. During our tests, we didn’t find success while trying to access Netflix on any of Hide.me’s US servers. Therefore, it is very unlikely that Hide.me will be able to unblock other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Sky TV, and Hulu.

Many internet users who subscribe to VPN plans want to be able to access unfiltered content. You can rest assured we’d continue testing Hide.me and will inform you if you find any success in the future. Until then, you may want to consider other VPN options for your streaming needs.

  •  Torrenting

Hide.me is a great choice for torrenting due to its reliable upload and download speeds. However, not all of its servers allow torrenting, but this shouldn’t give you much concern as most of the servers are compatible with torrenting. Fortunately, the Hide.me app has some valuable indicators that can help you determine which servers are not compatible with torrenting.

Hide.me’s kill switch is another amazing addition to the VPN’s features. It protects your original IP address from exposure should in case your VPN connection drops for any reason.

Very Strong No Logging Policy

Privacy Policy Protects you from Snooping Eyes

Hide.me employs a very strict zero-logs policy. The user logs it maintains cannot be used to personally trace your location or identify you; they are only kept for troubleshooting purposes and erased every few hours. In fact, Hide.me reassures its users in its privacy policy which says that the technical backend makes logging your online activity ‘impossible’.

Keep in mind that Hide.me logs the volume of web traffic for a user per month, in order to maintain its high-quality service and properly bill customers on data-capped subscriptions. But none of this data can be linked to you in any way, and upon request, this data can be erased from the Hide.me database.

  •  Jurisdiction

Hide.me is owned and managed by eVenture Limited – a Malaysia-based company, which is out of the reach of data retention laws in the US and EU. Malaysian laws do not require VPN services to store logs related to the online of its users. Hide.me takes a further step, assuring its users that if these laws ever change, they will relocate their headquarters to a safer jurisdiction or shut down the service.

Hide.me will not be able provide any data that can help trace a customer’s identity even if there is a valid court order, as they do not have any stored information to hand over. Privacy-wise, we do not think Hide.me users should have any cause for concern.

Encryption and Security: Excellent Choice for Security and Privacy

Some of Hide.me’s security features include:

  •  Encryption: AES-256
  •  Protocol: OpenVPN (TCP/UDP); L2TP/IPsec; SSTP; IKEv2/IPsec; SSTP
  •  Security: DNS leak blocking; VPN kill switch; IPV6 leak blocking; first-party DNS; supports TCP port 443
  •  Advanced features: Split tunneling; SOCKS

If you are a privacy-conscious internet user, then Hide.me is an excellent option. It uses OpenVPN protocol, which is an ultra-secure protocol, and its encryption method is the ‘impenetrable’ AES-256 cipher.

Hide.me has loads of advanced privacy features, including a VPN kill switch that masks original IP addresses from exposure, built-in protection against DNS leaks to hide your online activity from your ISP, and zero-log DNS servers. Hide.me also has other important features like port randomization and split tunneling, which allows users select the apps that are and aren’t routed via the VPN connection. All of these features in addition to Hide.me’s strong privacy policy makes the provider one of the best VPN services in terms of privacy today.

Ease of Use

Great Choice for the Newbie and Advanced User

Hide.me’s apps are well designed with loads of features, including a kill switch. The main screen has a simple on/off button, with your new IP address and chosen location. The ‘change location’ option on the screen also comes in handy as you can easily switch locations and access location-specific content.

Platforms & Devices

Works with all popular devices

APP

Windows

Mac

iOS

Linux

Android

Router

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AppleTV

Amazon Fire TV

Chromecast

PlayStation

Nintendo

Xbox

Hide.me offers custom apps for popular operating systems, including Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. The Hide.me website features manual step-by-step guides, including those for configuring compatible routers and setting up devices such as Sony PlayStation, Apple TV, and Kodi. However, these are not true VPN connections but Hide.me SOCKS proxy extensions. To encrypt the web traffic of your device, we recommend using the proxy connections alongside the desktop apps.

  •  Game Consoles and Streaming Devices

Hide.me has custom apps for Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Android TV. The Hide.me website also features lots of manual set-up guides that are easy to follow for devices such as PlayStation 3 and 4, Apple TV, and Kodi. You would have to connect your game consoles or streaming devices through a configured router in order to use them. You may also connect a crossover cable to your Mac or PC with the Hide.me software installed. This way, you can protect all your devices at the same time.

Customer Support

Live Chat Available but Needs Improvement

Hide.me’s customer support is decent at best. Though the response is usually prompt, users are always referred to a support page which lacks the know-how needed to solve technical issues. But you can still find answers to complex problems on the FAQs page where screenshots and videos would be used to guide you.

Pricing

Plans and Payment Methods

Hide.me has free and premium subscription plans. Like most VPN services out there, the longer your subscription plan, the lower the monthly cost for you. The monthly plan is the most expensive at $12.99 but the two-year plan costs only $4.61 per month. Other VPN providers like NordVPN, CyberGhost and PrivateVPN offer lower rates for their longer subscription plans, but we would say Hide.me is still affordable.

Hide.me accepts payment through the regular payment channels, and a lot more. In fact, users have 80 anonymous payment options to choose from. Some of these options include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, ZenCash, NEO, Verge, and Monero. This gives users loads of options if they are seeking privacy-friendly ways to subscribe to Hide.me.

Refund Options

Hide.me offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but you can only receive refunds if they have “not consumed a significant amount of your transfer data”. Hide.me does not breakdown the specifics of this statement, and when we asked, we were told that Hide.me retains “the right to evaluate edge cases where we see that user has consumed incredibly massive amount of data” in short period of time.” Hide.me did not give us a data-cap nor did they explain what they consider “a short period of time”.

The Hide.me free plan is especially helpful as they do not require any payment details. So you can test the VPN service before subscribing to a plan.